Thursday the 12th of August, marks exactly four months waiting for her.
Four months since we got on the official wait list with Gladney (our adoption agency) to adopt a child (girl in the ages of 0 to 30 months) from Ethiopia after completing months of paperwork and even more months before that of struggling with the decision and asking God a thousand times, "Really? Are you sure that's what you want us to do?"
When we began the paperwork and had our initial orientation, I think the average wait for a child over 12 months old (which we are open to) was four months, now it's about seven months, so we likely have a few more months before we get our referral (that's when we're matched with a specific child). We're not really sure why the older kids are going slower now, the wait for babies under 12 months has actually gone down from nine months to eight during the same time the wait for older kids has gone up. After the referral we will have to wait to find out our court date in Ethiopia and then we'll travel for that court date and get to meet our daughter, return home to the U.S. for 3 to 6 weeks and then be able to travel back for our Embassy date and bring her home.
We are mostly at peace with the wait right now and have not hit the antsy point, yet. We are thankful for the Gladney FBI which is an unofficial website that keeps track of all the families currently waiting on children from Ethiopia with our adoption agency, so we can see people getting referrals ahead of us and know that it actually happens, and follow their stories through the links to their blogs. Also, we can see the families still waiting who have been waiting longer than us, and that keeps us from having our hearts race every time the phone rings because we are pretty confident it's not yet our turn. So, that website is a blessing and gives us a bit of information during what is otherwise a pretty "quiet" period in an adoption, meaning you are not regularly talking with your caseworker at your agency.
But, the hard part is in understanding how there can be so many orphaned children in Ethiopia (roughly 5 million) yet there are families ready, willing, and approved to adopt them who have been waiting months and months. I know adoptions just take time, and much of that time is spent doing things that are so important like making sure the child is really an orphan. And we trust our adoption agency and God's perfect timing so we just wait. But, I guess I'd feel better waiting if I thought there just weren't any orphans right now.
We're using the time to get ready, as much as possible. I'm reading a great book right now, The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family by Dr. Karyn Purvis. I highly recommend it. She gives very practical strategies for dealing with a child from "hard places" and best of all she gives hope that no child is too far gone. I love her Godly, positive outlook and it is in contrast to some negativity I read in some other books that are supposed to help adoptive parents but really I think they'd just scare many people away from doing it!
And we're meeting more and more families that have been touched by adoption and can I just say, I LOVE a good adoption story! Seriously, I can't get enough of them! They are always just slathered with the obvious hand of God at work. I've gotten now where I just wait for it when someone starts telling me their story, I know there will be an example or several of such an amazing "coincidence" that only God could orchestrate! And we have several adoption events coming up, both at our church, through our agency, and through a neighboring church, so I'm excited to meet even more families! At two of the events I'll even get a chance to love on some precious Ethiopian children now at home in the U.S.!
Find more Thankful Thursday.